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FOOD & DRINK

Mercado

A luxe food market with restaurants, bars, an oyster station and personal shopper service.
By Sarah Ward
November 17, 2018
  shares

Mercado

A luxe food market with restaurants, bars, an oyster station and personal shopper service.
By Sarah Ward
November 17, 2018
  shares

Bowen Hills has yet another new addition, and while the inner-city suburb is now teeming with places to eat, Mercado wants you to not only enjoy its onsite food experiences, but to also take them home with you.

A giant 1500-square-metre market hall brimming seafood, meats, cheeses, bread, pastries, chocolates, fruits and vegetables, Mercado aims to give Brisbane the kind of one-stop gourmet shop that it didn't know it wanted. The idea is to make the routine task everyone hates — that is, buying groceries — feel luxe, and something you actually want to do.

With that in mind, the site also offers tours and a personal concierge service in case you need a hand filling your pantry. Those after some tips while browsing Brisbane's largest seafood display can either take a guided tour or ask one of the resident 'food specialists' to help you find what you're after. Alternatively, you can place your grocery order with Mercado's personal shoppers — eventually, you'll be able to do this via an in-store iPad — and take a seat at the bar while they gather your shopping for you.

Yes, Mercado not only boasts its own bottle shop, but a bar and restaurant, too. The latter serves up dishes from the onsite butcher, delicatessen and seafood counter, such as tea-smoked duck, chargrilled quail and three different types of sashimi. Steaks and woodfired pizzas are also available — and if you'd like an oyster or several, there's a dedicated shucking station.

If you're keen on an indulgent dinner, there's also Far Eastern-inspired eatery, The Duck Room. With a Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan-influenced menu where duck — naturally — is the hero ingredient, it serves up duck and miso soup ($9), smoked duck nigiri ($32) and the Mercado signature roasted duck ($42/$79) , as well as everything from kingfish belly tartare with scampi pearls ($35), to beef short rib with kimchi ($26), to Szechuan mud crab plucked from a live tank.

And as for the drinks list, as well as a 20-page selection of wine, beer and spirits, the cocktail range is sizeable. The Duck Room ($18) — the beverage, not the restaurant — is made with cognac, cherry liqueur, blackcurrant liqueur, yuzu and orange, while a blood orange sake-tini ($18), Japanese-style whiskey sour ($18) and chocolate rum espresso martini ($18) are also available for your sipping pleasure.

Mercado will open a second site, at the Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast, at the end of 2019.

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